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  • ‘Anong Ego?’ Dads Share Their Take On Breaking Gender Biases At Home Together With Rica Peralejo

    'Ano yun? Magugutom lang pamilya natin doon'
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
‘Anong Ego?’ Dads Share Their Take On Breaking Gender Biases At Home Together With Rica Peralejo
PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM/RICAPERALEJO AND JOEYONGEATS
  • The traditional and stereotypical roles of couples in the home—where the husband is the provider and the woman takes care of the children—have evolved through the centuries. While progress in breaking down gender stereotypes has been slow, the pandemic, in a way, has sped it up.  

    Dads, who are traditionally the breadwinners in the family are suddenly left with salary cuts or, worse, without jobs. And just like that, the dynamics in the family has suddenly shifted.  

    In celebration of International Women’s Month, the fourth Episode of Poprica tackled how gender roles are shifting within the Filipino family. Is it possible for dads and moms to take on each other’s traditional roles? 

    Smart Parenting Editor-At-Large and celebrity mom Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio, this time, shares the screen with her husband Joseph Bonifacio and Smart Parenting’s first ever daddy Editor-at-large and DadBudPH founder Joey Ong

    The lastest Smart Parenting PopRica episode on the Smart Parenting YouTube Channel is entitled 'Pinoy Dads On Gender Roles At Home'.

    Setting aside the ego  

    Joey began the discussion by sharing comments from members of DadBudPH, one of the biggest dad Facebook communities in the country today. One Dad shared that his wife has always had the bigger salary between them and that together they were a team when it comes to expenses. 

    “On my end, bumabawi nalang ako sa pag-aalaga ng mga bata, pag aasikaso, and making sure that super makapag-pahinga siya kapag off niya.”  

    Another Dad confessed that he lost his work during the pandemic and his wife became the family’s breadwinner. While their situation made him feel sad, he realized that his wife is just being the good, supportive wife that she is. “Di siya (issue) ng ego tulad ng iniisip ko but wellness ng family,” he shared. 

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    Another Dad proudly shared that he is a househusband while his wife works from home. “Wala namang issue sa amin since siya naman ang naghahandle ng pera ever since.” 

    He said that he accepts that his wife has a higher job position and is better at her job. “Ego? Ano yun? Magugutom lang pamilya natin doon,” he said.  

    Ong says that it’s about time that couples break the old belief that men work and women stay at home. “Iba na nga yung panahon ngayon,” he says, acknowledging the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on families.  “We're put in a situation where you have to put the well-being of the family first.”  

    He also echoes that egos should be put aside. “It’s really all about setting aside your ego and accepting the fact that being a dad or a mom is really teamwork. While ego can still get in the way, he says times are different now and “kailangan talaga nating mag-adapt.”   

    Find what works for you as a couple  

    Rica describes Joe as the kind of husband who doesn’t mind doing household chores traditionally associated with women like washing the dishes, taking care of the kids, or changing their diapers?“I’m so glad that my husband doesn’t see this as something that makes him less of a man but instead [it makes him] more of a father,” she says. 

    “I cannot tell you enough how grateful I am that in this day and age, caring and the rearing of children is both the [work] of the mom and the dad,” she adds.  

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    Joe recognizes that there are defined roles especially for women such as pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, when it comes to ‘breaking gender biases’ in the home he says that it’s more of what works for the couple. “When the mom stays at home and the guy goes to work, I think this is not so much a rule but more like what works for you as a couple,” he says. 

    He adds that what couples should be more wary of are ‘dangerous biases’ such as fathers’ hesitance to show their softness or gentleness to their children for fear that they will become weak. “I think there's nothing less masculine or fatherly than a man who doesn’t show support emotionally,” he says.   

    It all boils down to the family  

    When it comes to finances, he believes in dual-income households where both the husband and the wife earns. He shares that between him and Rica, the dynamic has always been to allow each other to grow as professionals. 

    “Ever since we got married I just knew that (Rica) still has a role to play in the industry,” he says.  “I don't want to force her to do it.  She always tells me that she would love to stop (working) but sabi ko sa kanya ‘you can stop but if you want to do it, I'm here to support you.’”  

    Whatever he and Rica decide to do with their careers, he says, the priority for them has always been the family. “When that's clear, we can talk about it and agree.” He says he is all for breaking gender biases but warns for others not to be ‘prescriptive’ about it to other people.  

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    “If you want to try something new, you want to experiment [as a couple], why not, right? The important thing is to know that you are united so that your kids can experience the best life,” he concludes. 

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